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5 common hazards maritime workers face

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2023 | Admiralty & Maritime Defense

In the dynamic world of maritime work, professionals face a range of hazards that demand constant attention and vigilance.

Understanding these risks is important for ensuring the safety and well-being of maritime workers.

1. Slippery decks

Maritime workers grapple with the ever-present risk of slippery decks, especially when the sea gets rough. The combination of seawater, rain and occasional spills creates hazardous conditions. Maintaining a secure footing becomes paramount as individuals move across the vessel.

2. Machinery dangers

Within the maritime industry, the heartbeat of operations lies in the machinery that propels vessels forward. Workers contend with the risk of entanglement, crushing and other machinery-related accidents. Vigilance and strict adherence to safety guidelines are necessary when operating, maintaining or repairing equipment.

3. Confined spaces

The nature of maritime work often requires individuals to operate within confined spaces such as tanks, holds and engine rooms. These spaces pose inherent risks, including poor ventilation, limited visibility, and the potential for hazardous atmospheres.

4. Fatigue

The demanding nature of maritime work, characterized by long hours and irregular schedules, contributes to worker fatigue. Fatigue can compromise judgment and reaction times, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

5. Unpredictable weather

Maritime workers are at the mercy of Mother Nature, and the weather can quickly shift from calm seas to turbulent waves. Harsh weather conditions expose employees to the risk of slips, trips, falls and even more severe incidents.

In 2021, water transportation had a workplace illness or injury rate of 2.8 cases per 100 full-time workers. In an industry where the sea’s ebb and flow mirrors the work’s dynamic nature, safety stands as a constant challenge.